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Chef's Secrets Paperback – September 1, 2004


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Editorial Reviews

Review

Tricks of the Trade
Finally, a book that tells you how to tenderize octopus with wine corks! You don't find that useful? I guess you have a better way of tenderizing octopus. For the rest of us, there's Chef's Secrets: Insider Techniques from Today's Culinary Masters (Quirk), by food writer and former caterer Francine Maroukian. Actually, most pages of this pocket-size book are filled with more prosaic, infinitely more helpful tips, like how to fold a burrito, how to roast a chicken perfectly, how to ripen fruit quickly, and how to boost the flavor of pasta. The people dispensing the advice are renowned chefs among them Charlie Palmer, Roxanne Klein, and Norman Van Aken and following each of the kitchen hints is a short Q&A with them. So now we know: The three foods that Scott Conant, chef at Manhattan's L'Impero, will never get bored with are mortadella (a.k.a. bologna), Skippy extra-chunky peanut butter, and sea urchin -O Magazine

About the Author

Francine Maroukian is a freelance writer whose work frequently appears in Town & Country, Esquire, and Travel + Leisure.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Quirk Books (September 1, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1594740054
  • ISBN-13: 978-1594740053
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.8 x 7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,023,938 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

51 of 54 people found the following review helpful By B. Marold HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWER on December 26, 2004
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
`Chef's Secrets' is a cleverly edited book by caterer and writer Francine Maroukian, subtitled `Insider Techniques from Today's Culinary Masters' which has much to offer, some old chestnuts, and a few misguided suggestions.

The most important aspect of the book is how much you can take away from it upon a single cover to cover reading. I say this because like similar question and answer books, the text is not well organized for hunting down the answer to a particular question, as all sections are more anecdotal than they are systematic in content. Thus, the greatest advantage is gained by reading the book from cover to cover, from front to back, and absorbing a few new, useful techniques.

In doing this, I found much that was interesting in a `by the way' fashion. The first thing that struck me was the large number of contributors who have graduated from the CIA (Culinary Institute of America) and Johnson and Wales. I believe over half graduated from an American culinary educational program, with these two institutions leading the list. I am certain this is a really major change in the culinary scene over the last 50 years. The second interesting observation was the number of times Wolfgang Puck was mentioned as a model of American culinary innovation and inspiration. This may come as quite a blow to the egos of Jeremiah Tower and the opinions of Jim Villas who tend to minimize Puck's serious contribution to the American culinary scene. That Alice Waters is mentioned once is no surprise. That Wolfgang is mentioned twice, more than any other living chef, is notable. The third interesting observation is the number of people who seem to have apprenticed with either Ducasse or Boulud. These two staging sponsors lead the list by a wide margin.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By jfrost on November 26, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
As a former chef, I was forced to retire from a disability but I still want to learn for my own satisfaction. I love to cook at home and this book has tons of good tips. I really do find it helpful. I wish that I would have found it while I was still working. I would have given me some new ideas.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book is excellent for the novice to gain some knowledge in the culinary arts but is lacking some vital info but not so much that I don't like It. It doesn't really cover everything that one expects, also some of the secrets are well known techniques and not so much a secret.
Still I'll recommend it to beginners. Should compliment this book with say The Culinary arts book.
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By C. Harrell on January 10, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I bought this book with the thought that it might have information that I did not know! Actually I am a former Sous Chef with professional kitchen experience and I have found that 90% of this information I already knew! Although I would recommend this book to anyone who likes to cook in the kitchen!
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By CA Reviewer on February 4, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I saw this at my dentist office and loved reading about the 'hints and tips' from different chefs. Will be trying their tricks when preparing foods or cleaning my wok the right way.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Italianbymarriage on September 13, 2006
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is a great book containing secrets from HUGE chefs and those who know food. Ms. Maroukian has pulled information from incredible sources. Short, easy to follow directions from how to make the perfect omlette to how to deal with a whole fish. How to clean clams was my favorite and extremely useful. The book is easy to read, easy to use and has a great look. It is not difficult or intimidating. A great gift for those who love to cook and entertain. It is small in size, but not small in information and one of my favorite housewarming or host gifts.
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